Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aphid Attack!!!


I am officially completely grossed out.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that I'm not a huge fan of "nature".

...and when I say "nature", I mean all the little bugs, spiders, and creepy crawly things that I associate with being outside amongst the pretty part of nature like trees, plants and flowers.

When Dick and I had our new backyard garden designed last year, we specifically requested that it be low maintenance. I figured, if we planned it out right, we could have a backyard that wouldn't require much more maintenance than regular weeding and simple pruning. After spending so much dough on our yard, I was determined to take care of the week-to-week needs, and only have our gardener come in for big jobs like pruning the trees, things associated with the drip irrigation system, or anything else that required actual knowledge of how things work out there. :)

So far, I've been doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself! :)
My parents came over early on and helped disperse 20+ bags of mulch, and also helped me transplant a couple of plants.

I'm usually out there about once a week, working on the day-to-day maintenance. This mostly involves weeding, which, if I do it once a week, is pretty easy to keep under control. I've also busted out my pruning shears from time-to-time to trim away old growth, and have even taken a stab at shaping a few plants.

it was all going so well....

...except for the aphids.

I noticed the aphids a few months ago, and bought some spray that I thought would help. Well, it turns out that I wasn't spraying often enough.

Yesterday, my contractor who built the garden came over to see how everything had grown since she saw it last. She immediately noticed the aphid infestation on the plants underneath one of the maple trees. I told her I had been spraying, but she told me that wasn't enough.

She suggested that I take a bucket of soapy water, arm myself with a pair of rubber gloves, and wipe each leaf individually with the soapy water. She said it would be much more effective than spraying alone, which makes sense.

My initial reaction: Ewwwwww!!!
I hate bugs! There's no way I'll do this.
Then I sent out an email to my gardener, asking her to come over sometime soon to tackle it.

...which should be the end of the story.

But, it's not.

This afternoon, out of the blue, I decided to put on my rubber gloves, and attach those aphids myself!

I filled a bucket with soapy water, and wiped those leaves, one by one, scraping off all of the aphids, and drowning them in my bucket of water. I emptied the bucket out 4 or 5 times. That's a lot of aphids.

It probably took me about 45 minutes to complete the task. All the while, I managed to stay composed and not get too grossed out, knowing that would get me nowhere. After I rinsed out my bucket for the final time, I went back to the plants and sprayed them with the solution to try to keep them away. I now know that I should spray at least once a week - much more than I had been.

After I finished the job outside, I came in, put my clothes into the washing machine, then hopped into the shower.

This gives you an idea of just how miraculous it is that I even talked myself into doing this chore in the first place.

We'll see how it goes. I certainly hope this helped.

...and now, I'm pretty sure that I need a drink.

I hate bugs.

As Dot from the "Animaniacs" would say: Deeee-sgusting!!

The Walt Disney Family Museum

I'm the first to admit that I'm a big geek when it comes to seeing any archived Disney production art. Most of my knowledge of it comes from when I used to work at the vintage animation gallery, and also from when I was an animation student. My fascination of it goes much further though - I've loved looking at it since I was a young kid. Always thought it was some of the most beautiful and "alive" art I'd ever seen. I also love seeing any old photos of footage of the early days of Disney - whether it be the man, the park, or old films.

I remembering hearing about this sometime ago, but I had no idea how far along it had gotten, or when it was planning on opening.

Opening date is October 1st!

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The website is up, but doesn't have much information yet. I'm curious to see what the permanent exhibit it, what's on the calendar, etc.,

It looks like it's going to be a really great museum. I'm looking forward to visiting!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Mad Men" Yourself

This is pretty fun.

Dick and I both enjoy the TV series, "Mad Men". Come to think of it, we really should finish Season 2 before Season 3 starts!

I found this site today:
Mad Men Yourself

It's part of AMC's promotion for the new "Mad Men" season.

If you watch the show, and know the characters, then you would know that two people in this scene are not actually regulars. ;)

Trina and Dick visit the offices of Sterling Cooper

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

A very Happy Birthday to my amazing DAD!!! ...and what an exciting day
it was, too! :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"

Seriously, can't wait.
I love Alice in Wonderland.

Tim Burton + Alice in Wonderland = Perfect Match
Great cast, too!

Should be absolutely fabulous!

Note to self:

For future reference:

Never ever have Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese (w/Blue Cheese and Bacon) and Chicken Fried Steak on the same day.


I feel huge.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Play Rock Band 2 with Green Day!

This is super cool.

If you are an Xbox Live Gold Member, you can play Rock Band 2 with Green Day tomorrow (July 24th)!!


I think this is just such a hoot.

My Rock Band skills are very rusty - I've been laying off because it seems to make my tendinitis flare up.

But, I might just have to do this!

...and speaking of Green Day...

Just came across this video of Billie Joe singing "Take me out to the Ballgame" at a Cub's game a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Keep your pants on, Bro!

We're out celebrating David's birthday. (Happy Birthday, David!)

True to form, Christopher was here for less than 10 minutes before he
pulled his pants down.

Nice undies, Bro...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine

We're out tonight with Pete and Richard, seeing Richard Cheese at

The photo is the "I Love Dick" tank top that I just bought from the
souvie booth.

Sing that Funky Music, White Boy!

This afternoon, quite out of the blue, Dick started to rap....

For Gangs, Clubs
And Nations
Causing Grief In
Human Relations
It's A Turf War
On A Global Scale
I'd Rather Hear Both Sides
Of The Tale
See, It's Not About Races
Just Places
Where Your Blood
Comes From
Is Where Your Space Is
I've Seen The Bright
Get Duller
I'm Not Going To Spend
My Life Being A Color

Halfway through, I was staring at him, stunned.

I had no idea where this had come from.

...and yet, he just kept going!

The song is "Black and White", by Michael Jackson.

So, it turns out that one of the bands that Dick used to be in used to play that song.

Dick said he often sang the backup lyrics (he played keyboard).
However, for this song, the backup lyrics turned out to be the rap!

Who knew?!

I love it when I learn something new about my hubby!

The day I got a really good "Andy Bounce"

We play golf regularly with our friend, Andy.

Andy is a very good golfer, but he also manages to get quite lucky. Andy has been known to hit a ball, and have it bounce off the ground, a tree, a pole... whatever, and not only bounce back onto the fairway, but also have it end up closer to the pin than he would have if it hadn't it anything at all.

This is known as "The Andy Bounce".

When a ball has an unfortunate bounce which bounces away from the fairway, or puts you further behind than you would otherwise be, is referred to a "Bad Bounce".

Typically, I'll catch a bad bounce.

But today, on hole 6 of Fleming, I caught a really great Andy Bounce off my tee shot.

I hit the ball with my driver, so it went pretty far, but slightly to the right.
Not only did it bounce off a tree, but it also bounced on the sidewalk, which catapulted my ball further forward, and in the center of the fairway! I was probably only about 20-30 yards from the green. (the pin was roughly 170 yards away)

So, this was a great start. Lucky, but great for me, nonetheless. :)

I chipped the ball onto the green, then had a really nice putt into the hole.
It was the first time that I made par on this hole, so I was pretty excited.

Hurray for the "Andy Bounce"! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My new favorite cocktail...

Oh, my...
This can be dangerous.

I just ordered an "Electric Arnold Palmer".

It consists of:
Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka (hello!)

I had just today read something very brief about Firefly Sweet Tea
Vodka on a friend's facebook status.

When I saw it listed on the drink menu, I figured it must be karma. ;)

I gotta get me some if this!

The Grand Lake Theater

Gorgeous. Love this theater.

Very Exciting! We were the first in line, and the first inside. Now
munching contently on free popcorn! :)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Whoo Hoo!!
Here we are at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland!

We've been coming here for years to see all the Harry Potter and Star
Wars films. It's such a great experience: gorgeous, restored theater,
$6.50 matinee, no lines (can you see that my Mom is the first in
line?) and FREE popcorn!! Yay!

The show starts at Noon. We got here at 10:30. No one else was in line
yet, and the doors don't open 'till 11:45. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The grill is back!

After a 2-3 grilling hiatus, without any real explanation, we (Dick)
finally got around to cleaning the trusty old grill this weekend!

We got a couple corn on the cob, and some tasty-looking grass-fed

Looks good so far! I'm excited to have the grill up and working again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Homeward Bound...


My new doggie-buddy. Finney is Paula & Reeves beautiful greyhound.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A day at the EMP/SFM

Paula and I went to the EMP (Experience Music Project) / SFM (Science Fiction Museum) today. We originally came to see the "Jim Henson's Fantastic World", which was Fantasic!!


storyboard art for Rowlf the Dog advertising "Purina Dog Chow"

We didn't realize that this show was happening, but we lucked out, and saw "American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print", which we both loved.

Top Pot

I'm in Seattle/Bellwview visiting Paula for a few days.

This morning, we went to "Top Pot" for donuts! Paula and Reeves have
been telling me about this place for several months, so I was quite
excited to check it out!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Lots of Chow, and lots of Chow Fun! :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Mykail and the IKEA art

Mykail is here for a quick visit! That always makes me happy. :)

He came in Thursday, spent the day with my parents, then took BART to SF this morning. We met in Union Square, had a big breakfast/lunch at Lori's Diner downtown, then took MUNI home.

There wasn't anything in particular that Mykail wanted to do in SF, so we opted for just hanging out at home. We were in the backyard, when I remembered that I had the perfect project for the two of us to do together:

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had gone to IKEA and bought these very cool self-adhesive wall decorations that I wanted to use in my cabana. The designs come in cut-out pieces, on four sheets, like stickers, only they don't stick permanently. They have designs that they suggest, or you can just get creative and make your own. It's a bit of an intimidating process, and I was waiting to get some opinions before getting started. Mykail, who is one of the most creative people I know, was the perfect person to create my wall art with me!

We spent about 4 hours working on the project together. We started by using one of the design samples, but eventually branched out (no pun intended!) and improvised, and created our own.

I'm super happy with how it turned out! I think it's just soooo cute!

I chose this design because I loved the idea of having a tree inside my cabana, bringing the outside into the inside. :) You can see that I also did that with the chair that I chose for the space as well.

Here's a photo of the completed project:

...and here's another one with Mykail!

Thanks, Misha Mouse! I couldn't have done it without you, and I love that you have a permanent presence in my cabana. :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bloody Marys, Camera Obscura, and Ocean Beach

This afternoon, I met my old friend, Lee, for a drink at the Cliff House. Lee and I go all the way back to 6th grade together! We reconnected a few months ago through the wonders of Facebook. We both live in San Francisco, and saw each other for the first time in over 20 years in April.

We had a nice visit today, catching up over Bloody Marys (well, a Virgin Mary for me, since I was driving, and I'm such a lightweight!). The Cliff House makes my favorite. Yum.

After we finished our drinks, we decided to go down to check out the Camera Obscura.

from wikipedia
The camera obscura (Latin veiled chamber) is an optical device used, for example, in drawing or for entertainment. It is one of the inventions leading to photography. The principle can be demonstrated with a box with a hole in one side (the box may be room-sized, or hangar sized). Light from a scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface where it is reproduced, in color, and upside-down. The image's perspective is accurate. The image can be projected onto paper, which when traced can produce a highly accurate representation.

Using mirrors, as in the 18th century overhead version (illustrated in the Discovery and Origins section below), it is possible to project a right-side-up image. Another more portable type is a box with an angled mirror projecting onto tracing paper placed on the glass top, the image upright as viewed from the back.

As a pinhole is made smaller, the image gets sharper, but the projected image becomes dimmer. With too small a pinhole the sharpness again becomes worse due to diffraction. Some practical camera obscurae use a lens rather than a pinhole because it allows a larger aperture, giving a usable brightness while maintaining focus.

I love the Camera Obscura, or the Giant Camera, as this one is called. The image is gorgeous, and totally memorizing. Lee and I stayed in there for a long time, staring at the image, and taking photos. (I'm sure he got some great ones. I only had my iPhone with me.)

Lee, taking photos of the image projected onto the screen

After we left the Cliff House area, we walked along Ocean Beach over the Beach Chalet, and the adjacent Park Chalet. I still can't believe I've never been to the Park Chalet! (my bad, Lee - next time!)

Ocean Beach

I had a really nice afternoon, catching up with an old friend. Thanks, Lee! I look forward to our next outing!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Muni Fare Increase


I just read that the price of an adult fare on Muni increased to $2.00 today. (It was $1.50.)

That's quite a hike.

Here's a list of all of the fare increases

and another of all of the Bay Area Transit fare increases.

Birthday Greetings for Mom

This is really nice.

This afternoon, I changed my Facebook status to read:
Trina Chow is spending the day with her Mom to celebrate her Birthday!! Happy Birthday, Mom!!

I also have all of my blog posts automatically posted to my Facebook page. Today's post was in honor of my Mom's Birthday.

Here are all of the sweet comments and birthday wishes that were sent to my Mom from some of my Facebook Friends.

Everyone loves Barb! :)

Happy Birthday, Mom! Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is my Mom's Birthday!! Happy Birthday, Mom!! To celebrate, I came down to Milpitas to take her out to lunch.

First stop before Milpitas: Baker's Square in San Bruno. My Mom's favorite pie is Baker's Square's Hawaiian Pineapple. It's only available during strawberry season. The Baker's Square in Milpitas closed a couple if years ago, so my Mom doesn't get to enjoy the pie as often as she used to.

Hawaiian Strawberry Pie

Happy Barb with her Surprise Birthday Pie

For lunch, we went to House of Genji, in San Jose. It's one of my Mom's favorites - it's very similar to Benihana.

My Dad will be taking my Mom out to dinner tonight, so she'll have a full day of celebrating.

Happy Birthday, Mom!!